• Has anyone ever wonder why go through all of this?

    Asked by Irishscott on Wednesday, May 8, 2013

    Has anyone ever wonder why go through all of this?

    My entire life has been for everyone else but me. I am now 6 days until surgery. Asking myself do I really want to do this? I was looking at pouches for the tubes, bras etc. Not really sure I want to go through all of this. Without a diagnosis that all can agree upon, it has made the waiting unbearable! Now it is getting close and I so want to say forget it. Has anyone ever felt like this?

    18 Answers from the Community

    18 answers
    • Kathy's Avatar

      My heart just goes out to you. I would want to know why you want to forget about it - the surgery and all. Perhaps you are totally scared and how you are ever going to be okay again or is your gut trying to tell you that maybe there is another option available? Do you need more opinions.
      I have often felt this way about chemo and not wanting to do that. However I have been trusting my medical and knowing they are providing me with the best outcome they know. Take good care of yourself and I hope you can go into this with a sense of confidence.

      over 3 years ago
    • BarbaraAustin's Avatar

      I found out about my breast cancer in March and had a lumpectomy in April and will be going into surgery tomorrow for more negitive margin. It's May and I still don't know my full treatment plan. I know how you feel and the waiting is completely unbearable at times. I've never actually wondered why me, I just want to get it going so I can make plans and move on. This will soon be in the past for both of us and the many others who will follow. Good luck with everything.

      over 3 years ago
    • karen1956's Avatar

      not before surgery but after I was finished with all my treatments...wished I never had my annual mammo....but I'm now 7 years from my Dx and I can honestly say I'm glad that I'm still here...wish I didn't have to go through BC treatment...but in the past 7 years, I've gotten to see my oldest DD graduate college and get married....my son finish high school, go to college, work and travel and eventually see him graduate college...and see my youngest DD grow into a beautiful young lady from a little girl....celebrate her bat mitzvah, go to sleep away camp, go to Israel with and now she is on the verge of getting a learners permit.....if I hadn't gone through Tx, I'm sure my time on earth would have been cut short.....Honor your feelings and take it one day at a time....

      over 3 years ago
    • gwendolyn's Avatar

      I was diagnosed almost a year ago and I've asked myself that every step of the way (surgery, chemo, radiation.) I will tell you that the anticipation of each phase was much worse than the reality. The phase you're in now, with so many unknowns, is the worst. To help me deal with all the psychological turmoil I see a psychiatrist at my oncology center. She is great because she specializes in cancer patients and she knows a lot about cancer treatments and the emotions involved. She also prescribed Rx for depression and anxiety. Your oncologist may be able to recommend someone like this for you to talk to. You are going through a very stressful thing. Don't hesitate to ask for help.

      over 3 years ago
    • Ydnar2xer's Avatar

      NO, I have NOT wondered "why go through all of this"--emphatically, NO! But then, I've always been uppity and spirited. I refuse to be that rolly polly bug that always flips over on its back, just waiting to be squished...they're going to take me by force!

      The truth is, CANCER TOTALLY SUCKS! And nobody deserves to get it! But I want to squeeze all of the GUSTO out of my life that I can--and if that means going through lumpectomy, radiation, Tamoxifen, bilateral mastectomy AND chemo (which I have), LET'S GET ON WITH IT! I want to make the most of my time here and yes, cancer is a major hurdle, but let's get the starting gun out and start the jumping NOW. I sure wish you felt this way. It's a wonderful thing to feel stronger than your cancer.

      over 3 years ago
    • AlizaMLS's Avatar

      Dear Irishscott,

      Hi, I'm Aliza, a Breast Cancer patient and the site's unofficial Medical Librarian. Librarians offer answers (usually non medical ones-we shy away from responding to medical questions as that's practicing medicine sans license which is illegal), but I offer referrals to doctors, hospitals, institutions, agencies, websites, books media, etc. and research when requested or required. I'm also permitted to speak from my own experience and those of friends and relatives with Cancer (we number too many).

      Being a Librarian, I have a different perspective when I look at and respond to a question than other folks on the site do (part of my training [I have a Master's degree in Library Science]). All of us as individuals are different people with different feelings. It's true, we all have Cancer, which sucks, no doubt. But we were all raised differently, come from different cultural backgrounds, were raised by different parents, and then some of us may have depression (may not) before we were diagnosed and feel this is just another manifestation of something bad that has gone wrong in our lives. That kind of thinking makes life even more difficult than just this crummy diagnosis.

      No one wants this disease. It's Pollyannaish to say that we wish you could want to live life with verve because ultimately no one knows you personally (i.e., we don't know if you're depressed). I hope you aren't, but it could sound to someone from reading your message above as if you are. It's understandable that you might be. Breast Cancer isn't for the faint of heart.

      I'm going to suggest that you give the folks at CancerCare a call asap. The Social Workers there are wonderful at dealing with the highly specialized needs of Cancer patients (and their caregivers). It's not like "regular therapy". No one cares about your "toilet training" and no one's going to "blame your mother". But you have the option of speaking with them by phone if time and distance don't allow you an in-person visit and if you can go for an in-person visit, more's the better. While we on this site can offer you support, you sound as if you really need to unburden yourself to someone who can help you deal with your great anxiety in a more immediate and professional way than any of us on this site can.

      The reason I say that is because you sound hopeless in the paragraph you write. Your situation isn't hopeless. The folks at CancerCare have dealt with other women in your situation and should be able to allay your fears more easily than we can initially.

      Another good idea is that you not isolate yourself now. If you belong to a religious community of any kind, now's an excellent time to contact your clergyperson and arrange a visit with your clergyperson for a bit of pastoral counseling. Whether or not they've served as hospital chaplains, all clergy have dealt with ill congregants, so this is nt new to them and they should be able to offer some comfort to you.

      Another good thing to do is distract yourself as much as possible. While this may not be the right time for you to become a social butterfly and I don't know all of your hobby or pastime likes and dislikes, (as a Librarian), I can tell you about wwwdotgoodreadsdotcom. It's kind of an onlinebookgroup where you can track what you've read, join small genre book groups, write bookreviews, read others' reviews and make virtual friends. Reading, crossword puzzles, Netflix are all good things right now as are visits with friends.

      Don't give up because of this illness. It's not fun by any means, but the drains and surgical bra aren't the worst things in the world and they're only temporary. Things do get better. Try to have a bit of hope!

      If there's anything I can do for you, please feel free to contact me here or email me offsite.

      Best wishes for a successful recovery from your surgery!

      over 3 years ago
    • simplysandy's Avatar

      your first sentence is so me.I will be 68 next month my entire life has been also spent doing for others. As I type this right now I have a 5 year old
      great granddaughter and a one year old great granddaughter asleep in the bedroom.I always figured after I raise mychildren I have time for me then there were grandchildren and I thought once I help raise them there will be time for me and then there's great grandchildren and I'm thinking I'll help with them and then there would be time for me well March 27th I was diagnosed with breast cancer April 4th I had a mastectomy and I realize this is got to be the beginning of my time so I've got to do everything necessary because I really want to have a time for me. yesterday I saw the initials G B L, it means get busy living. I can't address what you are going to have to deal with as I am too new to this journey but I can confidently say we deserve to Get Busy Living for ourselves! (Lots of typos with word recognition on my phone.sorry). thoughts and prayers sent your way.

      over 3 years ago
    • JennyMiller's Avatar

      You are now in that very dark period between diagnosis and surgery. I remember it so well. One minute I would feel the deepest fear whereby there would be "butterflies" in my tummy -- then I would try to cling to some hope by thinking of those people that I had heard about that were survivors. I was so alone in this "twilight zone" of the cancer world. My family and friends were hovering outside my zone with love and support but I was still alone as I was the one that had cancer - not them. I wept in the darkness of the night. Somehow, through the power of prayer, I found the strength to move forward. Once I had my surgery and met with my Oncologist, I took on an attitude of a warrior going to battle. I learned to think of Chemo and Radiation as weapons in my battle to beat this evil and elusive enemy. Chemo was not my enemy - it was my friend. Once I found this strength, I was able to maintain the positive attitude that is so very important in your journey. I hated the drains, baldness and side effects but they were just battle scars that were well earned!! I had my surgery in Dec 2011 followed by 8 Sessions of Chemo (4 AC & 4 Taxol) followed by 35 sessions of Radiation which ended June 24, 2012. I am now on Arimidex for five years. I just had my follow-up Bone Scan and CT Scans -- and I got the phone call last Monday that there is no evidence of Cancer in my bones, lungs or other organs - so I am now considered "cancer free". So, my answer to you is "Yes, you do want to go through all of this -- it is doable -- and you will have it all behind you in no time -- and then you can pass on this same encouragement to someone else just starting". I wish you the very best!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

      over 3 years ago
    • fastdog's Avatar

      Oh sure, we've all felt like this at one time or another. When I was scheduled for the first big surgery, I made a remark in passing that I really didn't want to go through with it. I think I expected my husband to jolly me out of it and reinforce that I should have the surgery, but he said, "fine, that's your decision, if you just want to sit on the couch and die, I will support you." Well. When faced with that thought, my attitude changed pretty darn quick. There is usually something good to be found in most things, I think, and if nothing else, maybe the cancer will cause you to live the rest of your life for YOU.

      over 3 years ago
    • CAL's Avatar

      Your question brings back so many feelings and memories from 9 months ago. Having spent 30 years raising my 4 sons, working at my own career and for my husband's business, volunteering, cooking/cleaning etc etc. I had applied, been accepted, and was ready to start graduate school for the second time at the age of 61, having had my late in life "baby" graduate from high school. Then comes breast cancer and I was royally shocked and angry. I am also pretty upbeat most of the time but it was a struggle to keep it all in perspective. I had so much support from family and friends who prayed with and for me, held my hands when I was just too scared to even verbalize those feelings, took me shopping for things that while minor would boost my spirit, and reached out to my husband and sons and my sister just to support them as well. In the midst of it I went ahead and started grad school and all those same people held their tongues even if they didn't understand why I would do that in the midst of all this. I ranted so much at my providers because the diagnostic process was waaaaay too slow and added to my stress, What I have experienced, while not something I would ever have chosen to go through, is that I am incredibly blessed and loved. I had to learn to ask for help even when sometimes I felt so bad that I wasn't even able to thank people as graciously as I know I should have, but they have and continue to stick by me. Even my professors have been incredibly understanding and helpful.
      Each of our journeys are different and no one can tell you how you should or shouldn't feel, but I sincerely hope that you will be given the gift of knowing how cared for you are in the midst of this. Please don't be afraid to ask for help, try to find some laughter in the midst of it even if it is no more than reading jokes or watching funny movies. I use to embarrass my surgeon and my onco doc with my side jokes about why they didn't do breast lifts and tummy tucks etc. while they had me "under." I figured it was the only time my insurance might cover it. I have experienced an incredible kindness from the chemo and radiation staff as well as I ask LOTS of questions and take probably more time than the average patient (I am an RN and I am use to being a patient advocate).
      Know that all of us here understand this is not a journey any of us wanted to take, but we also support you in whatever way you need with advice, shared experience, prayers, or just words of encouragement or even funny stories that hopefully will lift your spirits just a little.

      over 3 years ago
    • Gena's Avatar

      Would you say forget it to open heart surgery? Nobody wants to go through it. But the alternative is not always the best. Give your worries to God and let him walk you through it. I will be praying for you.

      over 3 years ago
    • SandiD's Avatar

      We all go through this at one point or another. Waiting is so stressful and cancer is all about waiting for results. It sucks. Most of us mothers have given to everyone but ourselves. After surviving cancer twice, I still struggle with putting my needs/wants first. Share your feelings with your doctor. Also get yourself some counseling through a professional doctor or social worker. Have you been referred to a cancer center yet? They all have social workers affiliated with them. I think having cancer can be a wake up call for us to reevaluate our lives and who and what is truly important. Keep venting, that helps too. My favorite site for info is www.breastcancer.org. I also liked what our resident medical librarian had to say to you. Good luck! Don't let cancer beat you!

      over 3 years ago
    • Nonnie917's Avatar

      Ys, I have felt like that many times after the surgery. I chose to have a flap reconstruction instead of implants and I have had 3 surgeries so far and still do not have breasts. Not enough fat in my stomach to give me a proper size and now I have to have implants anyway. Having second thoughts about another surgery, but I don't want to stay this way the rest of my life so as soon as I am clear for the implants to be put in I am going for it. In a year I have to have a knee replaced and I have to have a thumb operated on for trigger finger. I feel like I am falling apart at the age of 61. I can understand how you feel. Good luck and hope you can make a decision that you are happy with soon.

      over 3 years ago
    • DianaL's Avatar

      Irishscott, I know what you are going through as does everyone who has answered on this page!
      Absolutely nothing about a cancer diagnosis is quick. I was diagnosed on 4/3/12, had my lumpectomy on 5/17/12--found cancer in the sentinel nodes and then had a bilateral on 6/14/12.
      After the bilateral I thought now we are moving--not, I was slow to heal and they will not start chemo until you are healed. I finally was declared healed in August, got my port on 8/30 and started chemo on 9/6. My last chemo was on 11/9. I went for a breast reconstruction consultation and he would not even think about surgery until three months from my last chemo.
      I finally had TE's put in on Feb. 15 and now I am in another holding pattern waiting for my skin to stretch. Second surgery is scheduled for July 18th. The waiting between the lumpectomy and the mastectomy was awful! You try to stay positive but it is really hard sometimes. I was diagnosed two weeks after my 65th birthday--so obviously not what I was expecting. The long healing was another issue. I was off work from May 17th through July 30 and those were the worst times. I am a people person and love my job, I was blessed with a great medical team, husband, children, grandchildren (they kind of help keep life real) and the most wonderful co-workers ever. I have discovered that this journey with cancer has ended up being a blessing after all is said and done. I now take nothing for granted, feel grateful for every friend, family, and co-worker and that person you meet along the way that you find out is a Breast Cancer Survivor too! We all know what you are experiencing because we have all been there. But not going through this is not an option--you MUST fight this beast, because you can and will win!
      I really felt this way with my reconstruction, my other surgeries were done because they had to be done! I did not have to have radiation, but did have 4 chemo treatments. Met some great people during those treatments. Good luck, prayers and lots of hugs!

      over 3 years ago
    • virginiab's Avatar

      It's easy to get overwhelmed, and it sounds like that is where you are right now. When I get overwhelmed, it's as if there are lots of different movies all playing at the same time, and some of the movie screens are about to fall on me and the noise from all the different scenes makes me crazy.

      For me, what helps is picking out one picture or movie and making it big enough to see what is really going on -- and if needed, to also block out any other movies that still might be seen around the edges -- like with heavy theater drapes. That way I can watch as many scenes as I need to, but one at a time, with an intermission whenever I want one.

      Hang in there. Things will get clearer pretty soon now, as you get to know more about your diagnosis and the reatment options that actually apply to you. Then you can decide that choices are best for you and your life. This becomes a time to take care of yourself, and to accept some help from others, too.

      Best wishes to you for the next few days and weeks1

      over 3 years ago
    • Nomadicme's Avatar

      Yes I felt that way. Take it one step at a time and it won't seem so overwhelming.

      over 3 years ago
    • Grandy's Avatar

      Sounds like it's past time for you to take care of you! Fun CAN be had! I was once dark minded... Even before cancer for me. But I decided I had to figure out a way to want to go through life. I am SO glad I made that decision. I'm still a work in progress and can worry about ALL that others expect out of me. But I do choose to live in a manner so that I want to live!

      But I also DID get medical help too!!!!!!!! HUGS!!!

      over 3 years ago
    • jvbaseballmom2's Avatar

      Having not seen your post until today, I realize you have already had your surgery. I hope all went well, and that the worst is behind you. The not knowing and worrying is the worst part. Please have the strength to go on in your fight, as you are now a survivor. Best to you. Please know you are not alone in your fight, and the What Nexters are here to support you.

      over 3 years ago

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